I am starting off my blog post today with this line: This little pineapple pastry is hardship. Let me tell you why.
First off, my little pineapple pastry should be a golden pastry filled with golden yellow caramelized fibrous strands of pineapple. The word “fibrous” is the key of hardship. From the start I know that blender will not do the job, it wouldn’t give me fibrous texture that I want. I know mortar and pestle will give me that texture. So, initially I used mortar and pestle but then juices were flying and I am covered with the flesh and juice from the pineapple. Nop.. Then I scrambled through my drawers and found the grater. Ah! That should do. So, grater works best to be honest but there are the final bits which I can’t grate, I just tossed it back to the mortar and pestle, that will do the job. But if you want to save time, just use a blender…
I was also looking for a name to call it. It’s not a tart because the filling is not on top but inside. It’s not a cookie because there are filling in it. In the end, I made up my mind by calling it little pineapple pastry.
When I am done with baking the pastry. It’s time for photoshoot. I wanted to take a photo of the cut out of the pastry, I cut 3 pieces and swallowed 3 of them because all 3 cut outs were not nice. In the end I took a bite and got the perfect shot.
From the start till the end of my shoot, I took like 9 pastries and to make matters worse, I drank water. Now I feel like a tumbler filled with pastry and water. In the end, I am puzzled. Why am I going through all this hardship to get a pastry like this? Well, that’s because it tastes the best. The caramelized golden pineapple strands rolled out and mashed well with the pastry as I popped into my mouth. I am in love with this feeling.
Little Pineapple Pastry (makes 35 mini pastry)
adapted from wendyinkk’s website
- 250g of self raising flour
- 150g unsalted butter, room temperature
- 45g of castor sugar
- 30g of cream cheese, room temperature
- 20g of corn starch
- 2 egg yolks, medium sized egg will do
- ¼ teaspoon of salt
- 1 pineapple, not overly ripe. Slightly raw
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 160g of sugar
- 1 egg yolk + 1 tablespoon of milk, for glazing
- Note: I suggest you taste your pineapple first, if it is sweet then you can decrease the amount of sugar
- Let’s prepare the pastry dough first because it needs to be chilled in the fridge before you start working on it. Hot weather will make it worse working with the dough. So, please work in cold area or chill the dough at least 1 hour before you start work.
- Combine butter, sugar and cream cheese in a mixing bowl. Whisk these ingredients until it becomes a creamy pale looking smooth paste is formed. You can do it either by using your hand mixer or your whisk. Takes about 5 minutes.
- Add in the egg yolk one by one. Whisk to mix the egg yolk well with the butter cream mixture.
- Sift the flour and cornstarch together.
- Divide the sifted flour into 3 batches and add in batch by batch. Add in flour and mix well then continue with the 2nd batch then followed by the 3rd batch.
- I suggest you press the dough alongside the wall of the bowl and not lumping it into a ball shape so that it can chill evenly and quickly in the fridge.
- Cover the bowl and chill in fridge for at least 1 hour. If you have your filling ready, then after 1 hour, you can start rolling. If it’s like me, it takes about 2 hours to complete the cooking of the filling process plus cooling it down. So, the dough can be kept in the fridge.
- Now let’s make the pineapple filling. Once you have peeled and cleaned the pineapple, use a grater to grate the pineapple. Note here, it will be very messy when you do this but it’s for the sake of the texture. Since you are using grater, there are some tiny bits at the end which you can’t grate because you need to take care of your finger, so toss it in the mortar and pestle and pound it. It does the job as well.
- Heat up your non stick pan/wok with medium heat. Pour in the grated pineapple add in cinnamon stick. Let it cook. This process is to evaporate the liquid in the pineapple. Takes about 18-20 minutes.
- Once it has become pasty, add in 80% of the sugar and taste. Add all if you think it needed more sugar or stop right there. Sweetness is really subjective so you got to do it your way. Add in a pinch of salt as well.
- When you add the sugar and mix with the pineapple, the mixture will turn water because sugar draws out the water out. Don’t worry. Continue to cook until it reaches the pasty texture again.
- Once it becomes pasty again, turn the heat to high because now we need to caramelized this baby! We need to make it gold!
- Let it cook so that it starts caramelized. And from pale yellow, it will turn to golden yellow. The key is to let the bottom ones catches the color by caramelizing. Then you mix and turn the upper ones to bottom to caramelized. The process goes on and on until you get all golden yellow. You need to let it touch the pan and caramelized.
- Once this is done, move to a flat plate. Flatten it out so that it cools down quickly.
- Once it’s cooled down and your hand can work with the filling, we are rolling it out to ball shape. About 1 inch in diameter. About 10 grams.
- Preheat the oven at 180°C.
- Take out half of the dough, the other half can keep chilling in the fridge. Take a pinch out. I use weighing machine here because it will give me a more even looking pastry with same amount of dough. It is about 15 grams.
- Flatten the dough and put in the pineapple filling. Seal it up tightly. Make sure there is no cracks.
- Put it on the baking pan that is already laid with baking sheet. Press it down a little so that it stands firmly.
- Combine egg yolk & milk in a bowl and this will be the glaze.
- Brush the glaze on each of the pastry. Takes about 20 minutes to bake. 10 minutes down the baking time, take out and brush another layer of egg glaze on the pastry.
- Continue to bake until the top and bottom turns golden brown.
Note: If the dough appears to hard after taking out from the fridge, let it sit on the counter for about 10-15 minutes, then you can work on the dough easier.